30 August, 2023

Meet Mrs Akinci our new art teacher

I have been teaching art for more than 12 years in a variety of schools, most recently at MEF International School in Istanbul, Turkey. I have extensive experience with the International Baccalaureate program but have also taught the Cambridge curriculum. I have a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia in Studio Art and recently completed my Masters of Art Education from The Art of Education University. I am passionate about social-emotional learning (SEL) and finding ways to incorporate those competencies into art-making practices to help students express themselves, embrace their individuality and appreciate the individuality of others.

Before I became a teacher, I worked in the anti-hunger anti-poverty non-profit industry as well as the fashion industry on the design team of a major luxury brand. I am originally from Honolulu, Hawaii but have traveled the world and have lived in Spain, The Netherlands and Turkey.

What do you look forward to the most about moving to Myanmar?

Of course, I’m looking forward to seeing the incredible beauty the country holds but I can’t wait to meet the people of Myanmar and form authentic connections

What excites you the most about joining BSY?

I’m really excited to join such a close-knit community of learning and putting my own stamp on the art program.

What are you most looking forward to during your first week at the school?

I’m looking forward to meeting all my new colleagues and seeing my new art rooms! I’m also hoping to get a lot of advice and recommendations that will help me and my boys settle in quickly.

Have you been involved in any extracurricular activities or initiatives in your previous schools? If so, what were they and how did they impact the students?

I have been involved in a lot of extracurricular activities from volleyball to MUN, to initiatives like “Girls Empowerment Night”. Together with my art teacher colleague, we worked really hard to highlight student art and give students opportunities to beautify the school through hanging installations and murals within the school.

Are there any specific goals or aspirations you have for Art at BSY this academic year?

With such a beautiful new space, I know BSY has a lot of empty white walls! My goal is not to haphazardly cover every single wall with art or paint murals everywhere but to collaborate with the BSY community to create spaces and messages that highlights the school’s mission and vision for the future. 

What are some of your hobbies or interests outside of the classroom? How do you think they contribute to your teaching style or overall approach to education?

I love to dance, especially tango. My mom was from Argentina so it runs in my blood! I also love playing sports and being active with my two boys who keep me on my toes. I prefer sports like tennis or volleyball but my kids have a flair for extreme sports like skateboarding so I sit back and bite my fingernails as they do amazing tricks. There are a lot of similarities between sports and art-making. They are both expressions of humanity and are integral to a healthy and balanced life. Understanding this allows me to find connections that helps me reach students in unconventional ways. 

Of course, being an art teacher, I love to create and experiment with different materials. I love to work in my visual arts journal, trying out new techniques. Continuing to hone my own craft helps me understand how students experience learning art and the challenges that occur. Through this practice, I develop a lot of ideas for student projects and learn a lot of new methods.